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Aug 20, 2014 10:18 AM EDT

Poor Individuals Remain Obese Due To Lack of Money for Diet Programs, Study

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People, who live below the poverty line, are more likely to be obese as they cannot afford to pay for diet programs, special meals or gym memberships, according to a Concordia University study.

For the study, the researchers analysed data from more than 8,800 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study.

The researchers said that financially struggling families are less likely to opt for an exercise routine, switch dietary habits or cut down their consumption of sweets and foods rich in calorie content.

Lower-income individuals are more likely to choose methods that provide the feeling of instant results, which may be counterproductive in the long run. They either pop diet pills or fast or skip meals instead.

"The message of how to lose weight according to national guidelines may not resonate with those who struggle to pay their bills," said Lisa Kakinami, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the lead author on the study, in a statement.  "Certain methods can be pursued no matter where you are, but the inclination to reduce fat or sweets, exercise or drink more water was lesser in lower-income households compared to the highest-income households."

In 2013, Mexico was crowned the world's fattest country with a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, according to a study by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). About 70 percent of Mexican adults are considered to be overweight.

The country has arrived at this situation due to its inactive lifestyle, less manual labour, industrialized agricultural production, rising incomes and bad eating habits. As a result, the majority of the racks in the clothing stores are filled with plus sizes.

"Because of a lack of money and food, people go for more energy-intense foods. These are often high in sugar or fat. People drink Coca Cola as if it was water in order to have the energy to carry on - and so many of the foods are rich in carbs, are full of cheese or are fried," said Sally Neiman who has lived in Mexico for 20 years, Daily Mail reports.

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